Founded in 1982 by distinguished faculty members at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the Oberlin Trio has performed to enthusiastic acclaim throughout the world for more than 30 years. Since 2008, the tradition has been carried forward by pianist Haewon Song, violinist David Bowlin, and cellist Amir Eldan. Together, they have presented recitals and master classes across the United States, Korea, and China. In keeping with the ensembles commitment to educating young artists, members of the Oberlin Trio enjoy teaching at top music schools in the U.S. and abroad. 
Release date: 8th Jan 2016


Marce & Dance 2008 is a celebration of the 75th birthday (June) of Claudio Abbado.

With a program that moves gracefully from Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven to Berlioz, Hindemith, and Prokofiev, Abbado creates a collection filled with charming contrasts and piquant juxtapositions. Anyone looking for a disc of classical music at its most approachable and enjoyable will surely get pleasure from this release, but those who have known and admired Abbado's work for the past 40 years may find it just a bit sad. Deutsche Grammophon's digital sound is typically clear, crisp, and detailed.

GRANADOS Chamber Music with Piano

ÆVEA is proud to introduce Trio Rodin's first CD with a Granados piano trio new version based on the manuscript found at the ""Museu de la Música de Barcelona"" instead of the commonly played edition. The CD includes the world's first recording of Granados Trova, an arrangement by the composer himself of his most famous chamber orchestra piece ""Elisenda"". The sonata for violin and piano is another of the great surprises this CD offers the listener. We knew about the existence of the valued manuscripts of a second, third and fourth movements of the known one movement sonata; but no one has dusted them off and shown them to an audience till now. A complete second movement and two other unfinished movements are presented here as a premiere of what it is without any doubt one of his greatest chamber music works. Release date: 8th Jan 2016


The new release from one of Armenia’s leading and most popular music groups. Following their prior success this year with their first release of Expressia—Armenian Fantasy, Cadence Ensemble expand their recording ventures to Expressia—Tangos and Fantasies.

This new release explores the tango at its best including works from some of the great Tango writers including Astor Piazzolla and fellow Armenian Narine Zarifian. With innovative arrangements of works by Carlos Gardel, Hector Stampioni and the Fantasy on Themes of Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin.

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) was an Argentine tango composer and bandoneon player who revolutionised the traditional tango into a new style, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music, termed nuevo tango. He is widely considered the most important tango composer of the latter half of the 20th century. A formidable bandoneonist, Piazzolla continuously performed his own compositions with different ensembles. He is known in his native land as “El Gran Ástor” (The Great Astor).

Carlos Gardel (1887-1935) was perhaps the most prominent figure in the history of tango. He died in an airplane crash at the height of his career, creating the image of a tragic hero throughout Latin America. For many, Gardel embodies the soul of the tango style that sprang from the barrios of Buenos Aires and Montevideo at the end of the 19th century.

Born in 1958 in Yerevan, Armenia, Narine Zarifian graduated from Yerevan State Conservatory in 1984, where she now holds a professorship. A member of Armenia’s Union of Composers and the International Association of Female Composers, she has performed in Greece, the Czech Republic, Syria, Lebanon and Russia. Narine’s works include a ballet, a symphonic poem, a set of vocal works, string quintets, a set of symphonic and folk works for symphonic orchestra, folk and electronic instruments and a concerto for guitar.

The pianist, composer and arranger Hector Stampioni (1916-1997) is often described as a master of tango who embodied the fundamental values of this musical form from the 1940s to the present day. A brilliant orchestator, exquisite pianist and outstanding composer, Stampioni is one of the undisputed titans of the tango movement.

George Gershwin (1898-1937) wrote most of his vocal and theatrical works in collaboration with his elder brother, lyricist Ira Gershwin, composing for both Broadway and the classical concert hall. He also wrote popular songs and many of his compositions have been used on television and in numerous films. George Gershwin’s chief works include Rhapsody in blue, An American in Paris, Porgy and Bess and Second Rhapsody.

SHOSTAKOVICH Chamber Symphonies (arr. Rudolf Barshai)

“The Dmitri Ensemble…[show] evident discipline and commitment…[they] succeed in making Barshai’s scored version sound alert rather than listless.” --BBC Music Magazine, June 2015 ****

“Shostakovich’s music and Rudolf Barshai’s very understanding re-imagining of it is expertly served in these superb performances, both in the technical sense and emotionally … Graham Ross and his expert colleagues make a wonderful case for these works and their outstanding performances have been captured in very fine recorded sound, produced and engineered by John Rutter.” --MusicWeb International, 18th August 2015

The Dmitri Ensemble, Graham Ross

The Dmitri Ensemble under Graham Ross performs Shostakovich's String Quartets Nos. 1, 8 and 10, re-worked as thrilling Chamber Symphonies for string orchestra by his pupil and advocate, Rudolf Barshai. Written in Dresden 1960,

Shostakovich was sent there to compose a film score but was overwhelmed by the aftermath of WWII bombings which he saw; the result was the 8th quartet.

Named after Dmitri Shostakovich, the Dmitri Ensemble is based around the central core of a string ensemble, with a special commitment to presenting both unjustly neglected and newly-penned works with an innovative approach to engaging concert programming. Under the direction of the co-founder and Principal Conductor, Graham Ross, it has worked alongside living composers and has an increasingly diverse discography.

The Ensemble’s collaborations with the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, for hm USA, include a highly-praised recording of choral works by Imogen Holst, which received both Diapason d’Or and Le Choix de France Musique awards, and which was shortlisted for a 2013 Gramophone Award and 'Lux de caelo: Music for Christmas', released in 2014, was widely praised in the national and international press, selected as Christmas Choice, BBC Music Magazine, 2014. Their latest release in a series of works for the church year, which have regularly made the Top 10 of the UK Specialist Classical Charts, is 'Ascendit Deus: Music for Ascensiontide and Pentecost' with the Choir of Clare College, released March 9th.

“The rendition as a whole is nothing if not fresh and finely poised, the band’s relatively modest forces placed in generous acoustic (St John the Evangelist, Upper Norwood) without loss of clarity or focus. Indeed, the results are superb … Recommended.” --Gramophone Magazine, May 2015

FERNANDES Violin Concerto

Armando José Fernandes was one of the most important composers of 20-th century Portugal. He was an integral member of the ‘Grupo dos Quatro’ – alongside Jorge Croner de Vasconcelos, Fernando Lopes-Graça and Pedro do Prado – which exerted substantial influential over Portuguese music in the mid-1900s. His musical language, based on an extended tonality, is influenced by Ravel and Debussy, with occasional hints of expressionism and even a touch of moody Shostakovich. Nevertheless there is a southern vitality in the basically romantic heart of this fascinating composer, whose works we hear for the first time on CD.

Violinist Carlos Damas made his solo debut aged just 15 with the Portuguese National Broadcasting Radio Symphony Orchestra. His successful career brought him all over the world, and his recordings won universal praise. Among his more recent achievements is the release of an hugely successful CD featuring the works of Fritz Kreisler, which has been praised by The Strad as one of the best Kreisler discs on the market.

WORLD Encores

Music from around the world

The opening work on a collection of world encores, the Overture to Candide is given a typically Jansons treatment - full of bravura, energy and discipline. The idea for the collection of encores apparently emanated from the fact that by 1997, when this disc was recorded, the Oslo Philharmonic had undertaken over twenty international tours, and many of these encores were played on these tours. Well worth hearing.

C.P.E. BACH Symphonies Nos. 1 - 4, Cello Concerto

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788), Johann Sebastian's prodigiously talented second son, acquired his musical skills at his father's knee, but emerged from the paternal shadow before he was 25. His reputation as a keyboard player was cemented--and perpetuated--by his "Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments"; as a composer, he developed a style distinctly his own: innovative, adventurous, deliberately willful, yet characterized by an inward, subtle sensitivity. He exerted a profound influence on succeeding generations; Mozart reportedly said, "He is the father, we are the children."

These four symphonies, written in 1775, all have three movements connected by a fermata or short cadenza. Within this form, Bach achieves extraordinary diversity of character, mood, and expression, with contrasting articulation, rhythm, and dynamics; the conversational juxtaposition of winds and strings creates variety of color and texture. The fast corner movements are sparkling and gracious, with trills adding spice and humor; the slow middle movements sing serenely and lament mournfully. 

The Cello Concerto, composed around 1753 during Bach's 30-year employment at the court of Frederick the Great, is very beautiful; the slow movement with its Neapolitan chords and chromaticism is deeply moving. It also exists in versions for flute and harpsichord, the former written for the Emperor, the latter probably for Bach himself. The cello version, which combines the flute's sustaining quality and the keyboard's nimbleness, is considered the most successful; the solo part is extremely difficult, with leaps, jumps, and runs. The period instrument orchestra, tuned a half-step low, is most excellent; the solo cello sounds a bit subdued, but the performance is brilliant and expressive.  --Edith Eisler


"This is an excellent collection of works that show off the talents of this amazing young singer. Ignore the glossy photos and listen to the music...the music is every bit as beautiful as the singer." -MusicWeb July 2006

Magdalena Kožená is one of the most well respected contemporary singers. She is in demand as a guest at leading world operas and concert stages. Her position as one of the most sought-after and distinctive mezzosopranos is borne out by a number of awards, which she has won throughout her career in the Czech Republic and abroad, as well as an exclusive contract with the recording company Deutsche Grammophon. 

BACH Piano Transcriptions - 7

“Markus Becker is a heroic exponent of this obscure yet satisfying repertoire, less 'pianistic' than the contemporary Bach-Busoni arrangements yet setting the performer equal if not greater challenges. A fascinating addition to Hyperion's series of Bach transcriptions.” --BBC Music Magazine, July 2009 ****

“Das alte Jahr vergangen ist, BWV614, is slow and thoughtful, yet is made serenely beautiful in Becker's glowing performance. …the D minor Toccata and Fugue… is superbly articulated and full of colour, while we can hear the "organ effect" from the piano's sustaining pedal, generously applied. The result is just fascinating, and I do recommend you to try this collection. It really is rewarding.” --Gramophone Magazine, August 2009

Markus Becker (piano)

Hyperion’s Bach piano transcription series, which has done so much to illustrate the unique effect of Bach on the nineteenth-century mind, has reached volume 7 with the complete transcriptions by Max Reger.

Reger was described by his contemporaries as ‘the modern-day Bach’, partly because of his frequent use of fugue and other characteristic forms. His skills as a pianist were matched by his abilities as an organist—a situation that influenced his a profound understanding of Bach’s counterpoint. Therefore it is fascinating to see the composer’s direct response to his predecessor.

In the young German virtuoso Markus Becker we have the ideal performer: he has already recorded the complete original piano works of Reger. As Francis Pott writes in his comprehensive booklet notes: ‘In adopting a balance of linear and polyphonic clarity with the full expressive resources of the piano and of virtuoso technique, Markus Becker respects the historic significance both of Bach’s original inspirations and of Reger’s transcriptions as documents of their own time’.

SCHUMANN Works for piano and orchestra

Jan Lisiecki's new album is a dream come true for the 20-year old pianist: He recorded with Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di S. Cecilia Schumann’s works for piano and orchestra.

The recording follows his very successful Proms Debut on 19 July 2013 with Schumann’s Piano Concerto. Now it is coming: Jan’s carefully prepared and long awaited third album for DG.
Release date: 8th Jan 2016

The Schumann Piano Concerto is a work that leaves a lot of room for the individual approach. It’s not at all about virtuosity and technical brilliance but calls instead for a detailed and intimate dialogue between pianist and orchestra: chamber music on a grand scale.

Jan offers a fresh, thoughtful and emotional interpretation. He says: It is almost as if Schumann left to the musician something to say. So I hope that the audience simply hears my version of this concerto and I hope they enjoy it.

EINAUDI Elements

His first album of new recordings for almost 3 years and follow up to In A Time Lapse sees Einaudi influenced by the world around him. Nature’s elements (earth, water, air, and fire), mathematical and scientific elements, musical forms and works of arts including those by Kandinsky. This album brings these seemingly disparate elements together into one concept. Performed by Einaudi and his band the album includes his trademark piano melodies and stirring ensemble playing on tracks including Night, Elements and Four Dimensions.
Release date: 16 Oct. 2015


This Chansonnier, which is how Tasto Solo and Guilleromo Pérez imagine this CD, offers a selection of most extraordinary ballades and rondeaux by Binchois and Dufay, in addition to compositions by Ciconia and Dunstable the two great precursors of the so-called Franco-Flemish style and other, perhaps less well-known though inspired composers such as Bruolo and Bedyngham. The acclaimed ensemble Tasto Solo claims and re-discovers virtuosic and highly refined musical repertoires from the 14th-15th c. where gothic keyboard instruments became the cornerstone.
Release date: 7th April 2015

BACEVIČIUS Piano Concertos Nos. 3 and 4, Spring Suite

"…Performances and recording quality are first-rate. Lyndon-Gee gave us…revelatory recordings of the music of Igor Markevitch and the symphonies of George Rochberg. His detailed, understanding approach pays similar dividends here, while the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra shines in the service of its under-appreciated countryman. Pianist Gabrielius Alekna…brings both pinpoint accuracy…and sensitivity to piano parts that are undoubtedly trickier to negotiate than they sound. " --Fanfare, November 2015

"Both pianist and orchestra serve the composer well as does conductor Christopher Lyndon-Gee…" --MusicWeb International, June 2015

Vytautas Bacevičius remained virtually unknown as a composer during his lifetime, in contrast to the fortunes of his sister Grażyna Bacewicz, who retained her Polish nationality. Rendered stateless by the outbreak of World War II while he was on tour as a concert pianist in Argentina, he eventually settled in New York until his death in 1970, giving acclaimed piano recitals, teaching, and writing astoundingly original orchestral scores. He never lost his deep allegiance to and nostalgia for Lithuania. This recording gives an eloquent introduction to his pianistic virtuosity and to his mystical, Scriabinesque vision of the orchestra.

Album Reviews

PROKOFIEV Symphony No. 3, Scythian Suite, Autumnal Sketch

"[Marin Alsop] gets unfailingly good string‑playing, often more sensitively nuanced than that of her rivals…" --Gramophone, June 2015

"Alsop and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra deliver the Third and the Scythian Suite with powerful, incisive rhythms and volatile dynamics, which makes for exciting listening, while their performance of Autumn offers smoother gradations of textures and a gentler feeling. Naxos provides adequate reproduction with good details and clear textures…" --Allmusic.com, May 2015 Editors' Choice

São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop

This fourth volume in Marin Alsop’s acclaimed Prokofiev symphonic cycle features two of his most viscerally exciting works. Using material salvaged from his opera The Fiery Angel, the Third Symphony was hailed by Serge Koussevitzky at its 1929 première as ‘the best symphony since Tchaikovsky’s Sixth’. Originally commissioned as a ballet by Sergey Dyagilev but rejected as un-danceable, the Scythian Suite has become a popular orchestral showpiece, while Prokofiev retained a lifelong fondness for his dark-hued early symphonic sketch Autumn.

Judging by the response to the previous volumes of this fruitful partnership with Marin Alsop and the excellent São Paulo Symphony Orchestra this new release will have no problems in becoming a market leader. The First and Second Symphonies disc (8573353) was an Allmusic.com ‘Editor’s Choice’ for its “first-rate performance”, and the Fifth Symphony was described as “an outstanding achievement” by BBC Music Magazine, which also regarded the Fourth Symphony (8.573186) as “compelling”. The Blu-ray releases have also been widely acclaimed, with NBD0031 made Audiophile Audition ‘Best Disc of the Year’ in 2012, and prompting BBC Music Magazine to write, “this exceptional account of Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony is partnered by a revelatory performance of The Year 1941, while the recording bursts out of the speakers.”

Cantar d'AMORE

Italian lovesongs from Renaissance and folk tradition

Oni Wytars is an internationally renowned ensemble founded in 1983 to further promote early music. Appearing in concerts and festivals throughout Europe, Canada, the Middle and the Far East the ensemble performs music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance as well as classical and traditional Arab and Turkish music. The work of the ensemble centres on the uniting of the many traditions that have influenced and enriched European musical culture for centuries by building a bridge between ancient and still-thriving musical traditions, between East and West.

BACH Trio Sonatas

Features the Camerata Köln’s own arrangements of the Trio Sonatas performed on period instruments. Includes arrangements for Cello, Lute and Organ, Gambe and Harpsichord and Gambe, Organ and Lute.

“The performances by these experienced Baroque musicians are technically accomplished and consistently tasteful and stylish…” --Gramophone Magazine, March 2010

BACH Piano Transcriptions - 6

The complete Rummel transcriptions

'Time and again you are reminded of real technique as opposed to a more familiar, glib and colourless alternative, and it is surely no exaggeration to say that if such playing is anything to go by you are listening to one of the finest living pianists; the possessor of qualities that should no longer remain a secret. Hyperion's sound is of demonstration quality, a crowning touch to musical and pianistic greatness. These are treasurable records' --Gramophone


'Amazing too is Jonathan Plowright's ability to project these pieces while keeping every voice and nuance in balance. Performances of rare identification and understanding make this a very special release in Hyperion's Bach Piano Transcriptions series' --BBC Music Magazine

'I really can't imagine Rummel's particular vision of this music being more vibrantly brought to life' --International Record Review

'The English pianist Jonathan Plowright performs all of these pieces to perfection: his technical gifts shine in the complex textures … but he can handle simple and poetic works [just fine too]' --American Record Guide

'This is a major addition to the catalogue and one of the finest piano recordings of recent years' --Classic FM Magazine

'Those who enjoy transcriptions for their aesthetic clashes should find these generally unfamiliar works a delightful acquaintance. Jonathan Plowright plays splendidly. Fine sound too. Warmly welcomed' --Fanfare, USA

'As Charles Timbrell outlines in his excellent liner notes, Rummel went to great pains to weave the complexity of musical lines into one organic whole, and Plowright is alive to every nuance and detail. Plowright and Hyperion have done an excellent job in putting Rummel back on the musical map' --Pianist

'For all their stylish anachronisms, the transcriptions undoubtedly illuminate the music's inherent beauty and spiritual aura. So does Jonathan Plowright's beautiful tone and unruffled technique. This is masterly, transcendent piano playing on every level … one of the loveliest piano releases of 2006' --ClassicsToday.com

VIVALDI Recorder Concertos

The Swedish recorder virtuoso Dan Laurin has demonstrated his remarkable versatility on some thirty recordings for BIS. However, in a recording career that stretches over almost 30 years, Laurin keeps returning to one particular set of works: the concertos by Antonio Vivaldi. The Concertos RV 441, 443 and 444 are included on this, his latest release in which he has joined forces with the young and vibrant Norwegian string ensemble 1B1 (shorthand for Ensemble Bjergsted 1).
Release date: 29th Jan 2016

As he explains in his own liner notes for the present disc, he was inspired by his work on transcribing and performing Vivaldi's Four Seasons: 'A close reading of RV441 and RV443445 reveals great similarities between these works and The Four Seasons: sudden changes of moods, turbulent emotions, burlesque whims mixed with sublime beauty and elegance My aim here is to explore the recorder concertos with the same freedom and spontaneity that characterize the modern-day approach to the Seasons'.

Laurin's recording of the Seasons has been called 'undoubtedly the best transcription to date' (Diapason) and 'never hackneyed, but instead invigoratingly fresh and vibrant' (Clarino), verdicts which can only fuel the expectations concerning this latest version of the recorder concertos.

Great Works for FLUTE and ORCHESTRA

“What is great about this disc is the startling playing of Sharon Bezaly. It is not that she grandstands in any way, she is just a phenomenally gifted flautist...The [Nielsen] has never been better recorded technically: that at least is certain.” --MusicWeb International, 16th October 2013

“[the Nielsen] merits the supreme artistry that Shraon Bezaly brings to it, both in terms of deft, discerningly harnessed virtuosity and in her supple, sinuous shaping of the music. Neeme Jarvi and the Residentie Orkest Den Haag astutely etch in the lively, spicy instrumental context” --Gramophone Magazine, November 2013

One of today’s most highly respected exponents of her instrument, Sharon Bezaly is a staunch champion of contemporary music, with 17 concertos and numerous chamber works dedicated to her. But she has also made acclaimed recordings of flute repertoire mainstays, from Mozart’s concertos and quartets to Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto pastoral.

Her latest disc includes two central works from the repertoire for flute and orchestra – the concertos by Carl Nielsen and Carl Reinecke – as well as less often heard gems, such as Cécile Chaminade's melodious Concertino and Charles T. Griffes’ Poem, with its distinctive harmonies and colourful writing.

The programme also includes a true rarity in Tchaikovsky’s youthful Largo and Allegro for flute and strings, written while the composer was still a student at the St Petersburg Conservatory. The work was originally composed for two flutes and strings, but as the second flute plays for just 17 of the total of 87 bars, either doubling or filling in when the first player is silent, the two parts have here been combined into one.

In contrast, Poulenc's Sonata is of course one of the most popular pieces in the flute repertoire of the 20th century, but it is here performed in an unusual version for flute and orchestra, orchestrated by the British composer Lennox Berkeley, incidentally a friend of Poulenc. Throughout this colourful and varied programme, Sharon Bezaly enjoys the sympathetic support of Neeme Järvi and the Residentie Orchestra who also join her in the spectacular encore, the Finnish composer Kalevi Aho’s virtuosic arrangement of Rimsky-Korsakov's The Flight of the Bumblebee.

GRIEG, ELGAR & SIBELIUS Music for Violin & Piano

“High-powered playing from Isabelle van Keulen and Ronald Brautigam, flawless in its technical accomplishment and brimful of big-boned vigour and assertiveness.” --Gramophone Magazine, Janurary 2008

“Isabelle van Keulen and Ronald Brautigam are artists of keen insight, immaculate musicianship and culture… Moreover they are accorded first-rate sound…” --BBC Music Magazine, December 2007 *****

The year 2007 marks Grieg's death a century ago, the birth of Elgar 150 years ago and Sibelius' death fifty years ago. This is generally a good reason for bestowing extra attention. In this case it is also a particularly good moment to consider the legacy of these composers and draw special attention to their lesser known works. Edvard Grieg is best known as the composer of Peer Gynt, the piano concerto and miniatures on Norwegian national music. Edward Elgar is above all the composer of the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches and Salut d'Amour. And Jean Sibelius put Finnish nationalism on the map with mythical symphonic poems and seven granite symphonies. The fact that they also composed magnificent chamber music works is so far less deeply etched into the collective mind; an omission that cries out for rectification.

In 1900, at the age of 65, Grieg wrote to one of his friends that he considered his three violin sonatas to be among his best works. 'The first (1865) is naïve, rich in ideas’. Edward Elgar wrote his Violin Sonata op. 82 following a period of doubt and illness and with a new awareness of the path he wished follow. The Violin Sonata has in fact remained an underrated masterwork, which perfectly reflects Elgar's reborn state. The short Sospiri (1913, later arranged for violin and piano) was composed in response to the death of a family friend. The six Humoresques by Jean Sibelius were created at the height of the First World War and of the Finnish struggle for independence from Russia, which Sibelius championed in his music.


Sospiri, Op. 70
Violin Sonata in E minor, Op. 82

Violin Sonata No. 1 in F major, Op. 8

Humoresque, Op. 87, No. 2
Humoresque, Op. 89, No. 2
Humoresque, Op. 89, No. 4


Except for one "previously unreleased" recording and two new ones, this is a compilation of segments taken from older Yo-Yo Ma CDs, perhaps to whet listeners' appetite to hear the entire records. The disc represents a triumph of performance over material. The program consists of short pieces and single movements of long ones and serves to display Yo-Yo Ma's extraordinary versatility, his spectacular instrumental and musical gifts, and his remarkable ability to invest everything he plays with the same commitment and emotional concentration. 

There is no logic to the sequence, except that it begins and ends with solo cello. Bach, whom Ma plays tuned normally when unaccompanied and tuned low with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, may justify the CD's title but seems out of place. Moreover, juxtaposing him with O'Connor and Piazzolla is jarring, though the Tangos are beautiful. The transcription of Dvorák's lovely E-minor Slavonic Dance, despite the participation of violinist Itzhak Perlman and his golden tone, sounds like a movie soundtrack: all bravura and cheap effects.

The playing's the thing, and it is stunning, not only Yo-Yo Ma's, but that of all his collaborators, from vocalists Bobby McFerrin and Alison Krauss to pianist Emanuel Ax, Ma's duo partner of 25 years. Ax joins Ma for the Finale of Brahms's second cello sonata; that is what you may find yourself humming at the end. --Edith Eisler

HOSOKAWA Landscapes

“Ethereal music centred on the textures of the shô, either expertly played by Mayumi Miyata, or evoked by the orchestra.” --BBC Music Magazine, December 2011

“sho soloist Mayumi Miyata takes a decidedly anti-virtuoso approach, shunning conventional measures of instrumental mastery in favour of almost pure tone and texture. This ends up setting the pace for the performances as a whole...Leibreich essentially guides his musicians - particularly the strings - in sounding as much like the sho as one would ever imagine.” --Gramophone Magazine, April 2012

Mayumi Miyata (shô), Münchener Kammerorchester, Alexander Liebreich

ECM’s ongoing series of recordings with the Munich Chamber Orchestra continues with an intriguing album of new and recent pieces by Japan’s leading composer Toshio Hosokawa. Amongst the compositions are Sakura für Otto Tomek and Cloud and Light, both written in 2008, and Ceremonial Dance (2000). These 21st century pieces are brought together with Landscape V (originally from 1993 and for string quartet, meanwhile expanded into an orchestral version). Three of these feature the shô, a traditional Japanese instrument played by its leading exponent, Mayumi Miyata.

Born in Hiroshima in 1955, Hosokawa was initially inspired by Western art music from Schubert to Schoenberg. He went to Germany in the 1970s to study with Isang Yun and Klaus Huber. As he strengthened his standing in European avant-garde he also put down deeper roots in Japanese traditional music. His work increasingly suggests a dialogue between East and West, between the archaic and modern, between ceremonial music and concert music. Hosokawa considers his compositional process instinctively associated with the concepts of Zen Buddhism and its symbolic interpretation of nature.

Hosokawa’s involvement with traditional music led him to study the shô, the ancient Japanese mouth organ with 17 bamboo pipes. In contemporary music the best known shô player is undoubtedly Mayumi Miyata who is featured here. She was previously heard on ECM in Helmut Lachenmann’s opera Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern (4761283).

On the present disc Mayumi Miyata solos in Hosakawa’s music for strings and shô, and plays unaccompanied shô on Sakura (Cherry Blossoms), Hosakawa’s adaptation of a traditional Japanese piece.

Landscapes is ECM’s second reckoning with Hosowaka: his music was previously featured on the critically acclaimed Yun/Bach/Hosokawa album of Thomas Demenga (4618622), issued a decade ago.

At present Hosakawa is a name very much in the news in Europe, as his opera Matsukaze, with choreography by Sascha Walz, is at the Berlin Staatsoper and is receiving much positive media attention.

This recording is released simultaneously with another recording featuring music by a major Japanese composer, Toru Takemitsu’s Distance de fée – on the debut CD by Duo Gazzana (4764428)

LISZT & SCHUBERT Transcriptions

Alpha Productions pursues its collaboration with conductor Martin Haselböck and the Orchester Wiener Akademie in a disc devoted to Liszt’s transcriptions of works by Schubert.

The Viennese conductor, a reputed Lisztian, sets great store by performance on period instruments (or faithful copies) as well as performance in venues full of history and of which the composer was fond. This volume, in the continuity of the ‘Sound of Weimar’ series, initiated in 2011 by Martin Haselböck, was thus recorded in Raiding, Franz Liszt’s birthplace.
Release date: 13th Nov 2015

Music lovers who have appreciated the fantastic piano transcriptions of orchestral works recorded by Yuri Martynov for Outhere, will henceforth be able to discover transcriptions for orchestra of Schubert piano works.

WALTON Symphony No. 1 & Violin Concerto

“Gardner brings out all the harmonic tension in the music...in a reading which never loses momentum, even when Gardner reins back the pace to capture the aching passion of the slower episodes. There’s explosive energy a-plenty and no lack of dynamism...This is a compelling coupling of exceptionally fine Walton performances...Both these performances now become the modern benchmark for the respective works.” --MusicWeb International, 16th May 2014

Gramophone Magazine Disc of the Month - July 2014

“Gardner presides over blisteringly eloquent and splendidly unbuttoned accounts of both these Walton masterworks...Heaps to savour and cherish, in sum; certainly, seasoned Waltonians will have a ball. With magnificent truthful sound and judicious balance throughout, this terrific coupling should be snapped up without delay.” --Gramophone Magazine, July 2014

“Little's way with the virtuoso passages is a notch less headlong than [on her earlier recording], allowing the ear to savour her phenomenal accuracy, yet with no loss of fire...Gardner and the BBC SO provide an accompaniment whose range of detail..is never driven too hard...a masterclass in how to generate formidable dramatic voltage while keeping the music's eruptive energy on a tight rein.” --BBC Music Magazine, June 2014 *****

RIES Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 9, Rondeau brillant, Volume 5

“Hinterhuber runs Ries’s technical obstacle course with ease, delivering these pieces with all the dash they deserve. And Uwe Grodd prods his New Zealanders to rise above Ries’s rather pedestrian orchestral tuttis and accompaniments. Obviously, this is a must-have for completists who have collected the first four volumes in this Ries survey. It’s also recommended to those who enjoy early romantic virtuoso piano works from the period…” --Fanfare, May 2013

“Despite his admiration for Beethoven, Ries seems closer to Hummel in these elegantly turned out Concertos. Hinterhuber and Grodd are engaging advocates.” --BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2012 ****

Christopher Hinterhuber (piano)

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Uwe Grodd

The fourteen works for piano and orchestra of Ferdinand Ries stand alongside those of Hummel as the finest and most important of their kind from the early decades of the 19th century. Intensely lyrical and yet displaying at times a rugged Beethovenian grandeur, Ries’s eight concertos are works of impressive musical stature. In this fifth and final recording we encounter the first and last of his published concertos and the virtuosic Rondeau brillant, Op. 144. “Sparkling performances… the recording is first rate.” (Penguin Guide on Vol. 3, 8570440).

“Grodd offers...an imposing exposition, taken up by Hinterhuber who is equally aware of its quality. 'Skilful industry' wasn't Ries's only attribute.” --Gramophone Magazine, January 2013


“the Belceas' muted, breathless approach is no less effective than the extrovert technical accomplishment and timbral extremes of the LaSalle Quartet…their Verklärte Nacht bucks the trend of recent slow and solemn performances…and is fitted closely to Dehmel's lascivious storyline.” --Gramophone Magazine, October 2015

“The Belcea Quartet, plus Nicolas Bone (violin) and Antonio Meneses (cello), play passionately and precisely.” --Sunday Times, 2nd November 2015

With a complete recording of the Beethoven quartets that caused a stir and enchanted concert halls everywhere, the Belcea Quartet is henceforth considered one of the finest quartets in the world. ‘The principle characteristic of their playing is [...] intensity,’ wrote BBC Music Magazine in 2013.

With this new recording, the Quartet tackles another summit of chamber music: the Second Viennese School. With their passion and technical abilities, this breathtaking music, which drastically changed the history of music, rings out in all its force and mystery.